By Noah Benjamin-Pollak
Lionsgate has announced that Lin-Manuel Miranda will be serving as “creative producer and musical mastermind” for its upcoming multi-format adaptation (film, television, and video-game are confirmed with Miranda having “an option for Future Stage Adaptations,”) of Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy mega-hit The Kingkiller Chronicle. For those who are unfamiliar, The Kingkiller Chronicle is an epic fantasy about the rise and eventual fall of the Wizard Kvothe, who after his ruin serves as a somewhat unreliable narrator of his own story.
In joining Kingkiller, Miranda is getting on board an already steaming locomotive, and turning it into a likely juggernaut. The Kingkiller books are a confirmed phenomenon, with more than 10 million copies sold, a charismatic young author (one need only follow the 43-year-old Rothfuss’ Twitter feed for a few weeks or watch his Twitch.tv streams, to see why his readers adore him), and perfect timing (Lionsgate is rumored to be targeting a late 2018 debut to offer a clean translation from HBO’s just ended Game of Thrones). Kingkiller is also genuinely well-written, and not in the qualified way people often talk of genre-fiction.
With his Broadway smash Hamilton, songwriting for Disney’s Moana, and an upcoming starring role in Mary Poppins, Miranda can write his own ticket right now, so why choose Kingkiller? Besides the near-J. K. Rowlingian amount of money the adaptations stand to make, Miranda has another good reason: Kingkiller is a passion project.
Last June, before any announcements, Miranda lobbied Rothfuss on Twitter for a role in any adaptation of Kingkiller calling himself “a huge admirer of your writing,” and the first Kingkiller book a “masterpiece.” In April, Miranda excerpted a scene from Kingkiller that he said inspired the Hamilton song "The Story of Tonight," and since the announcement both men appear genuinely excited to be collaborating. (Rothfuss has already tweeted art that he commissioned with Miranda as Don Quixote to his Sancho Panza). As for what to do while you wait for what many believe will be the next Game of Thrones — well, now would be the perfect time to start reading the books.
Noah Benjamin-Pollak is a Detroit-based writer.